This thesis was written by Charlotte Geerdink at Maastricht University and discusses children’s right to participation in Europe. It explores the following question: “Do children want to participate in decision-making at home, school and the community? What in this respect is the difference between Dutch children and children of other EU Member States?”
The first chapter addresses the conceptual considerations of the caretaker and child liberationist discussion as well as the extent to which children have competences and what participation rights for children are. Against this conceptual backlight, the author provides a basis for comprehending that participation rights are by no means black and white, yet children do have the capability and the willingness to participate, evidenced in the comparative case study.
The second chapter analyzes how children’s rights are secured on both the international and European level. The CRC is examined closely as well as efforts made by the European Commission and the Council of Europe respectively. In the third chapter, the author enthusiastically presents her comparative case study, which outlines the extent to which children can participate at home, school and the community.